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Blood Test for H-pylori

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When Gabe Mirkin, MD was on the radio, he would recommend individuals get an H-pylori test if they had stomach issues.  More than 90% of stomach ulcers are caused by a bacteria called helicobacter pylori and a simple blood test can provide your physician information if you have antibodies for H-pylori.

What is a Peptic Ulcer?

A peptic ulcer is an area in your digestive tract that has been eaten away by the acid that is used to dissolve food.  The ulcers can occur in the esophagus, stomach or small intestine and can create open sores that are painful and can even bleed.   We have acid in our digestive track to dissolve the food we eat and extract the nutrition our body needs to function.  There is a mucous layer in the digestive tract that normally protects against acid, but if the acid is too much or the mucous layer to little, an ulcer can develop.

One of the number one causes for a peptic ulcer is by the bacterium, Helicobacter pylori – also known as H-pylori.  If you harbor this bacteria, they can quickly multiply within the mucous layer and inflame the lining of your stomach or duodenum, producing an ulcer.

The most common symptom of peptic ulcer is abdominal pain that is dull, comes and goes over a period of time, may occur a few hours after eating or during the night, and is relieved by food and/or antacids. Weight loss, bloating and nausea are lesser indicators.

How do you get the bacteria?  The science is not clear and therefore it is speculated that it is spread from person to person.   It may be transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing.  Some people have been known to contract H. pylori through food and water and there is also research that it can be transmitted from your pet cat if you are around felines.

What is the H. Pylori Antibody Test IgG?

This blood test is to aid in the diagnosis of H pylori infection; determine the cause of chronic type B gastritis or ulcers of the stomach or duodenum. Abnormal results may require further evaluation by your physician.  In general, if you order a H. Pylori Antibody test and the result is positive, then this indicates that you have been infected with this organism.  Since this bacteria can cause peptic ulcers, your physician will usually prescribe a does of antibiotics.  A negative blood antibody test may mean that you are not infected. However, if symptoms persist, a doctor may order the more invasive tissue biopsy to more conclusively rule out infection.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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